#20 Missouri State Baseball 2018 Preview

Missouri State Bears
Overall Rank: #20
Conference Rank: #2 Missouri Valley
Missouri State Logo
Missouri State rolled through the Missouri Valley Conference during the 2017 season, going 18-1 and winning the regular season title. The Bears then followed it up in the NCAA Tournament, winning the Fayetteville Regional by knocking off Oklahoma State in the opener and then taking two out of three games against the host Arkansas Razorbacks. The Super Regionals were not so kind to Missouri State as they went to the Fort Worth Super Regional and lost to TCU in two games. Looking ahead to 2018, the Bears bring back a couple of all-American candidates in Jeremy Eierman, who is an outstanding power hitter, and Jake Fromson on the mound as the ace to lead an experienced team that knows how to win.
2017: 43-20, 18-1
2017 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Keith Guttin
Key Departed Players:
Jake Burger, IF, .328 BA, 22 HR, 65 RBI
Justin Paulsen, IF, .322 BA, 7 HR, 49 RBI
Blake Graham, OF, .309 BA, 9 HR, 34 RBI
Aaron Meyer, IF, 292 BA, 4 HR, 30 RBI
Doug Still, P, 2.88 ERA, 103.0 IP, 27 BB, 89 SO
Bryan Young, P, 1.53 ERA, 29.1 IP, 17 BB, 47 SO, 8 SV
Key Returning Players:
Jeremy Eierman, IF, .313 BA, 23 HR, 68 RBI, 17 SB
Hunter Steinmetz, OF, .300 BA, 7 HR, 42 RBI, 10 SB
Jack Duffy, OF, .222 BA, 0 HR, 17 RBI
Drew Millas, C, .224 BA, 1 HR, 29 RBI
Jake Fromson, P, 2.25 ERA, 76.0 IP, 18 BB, 88 SO
Dylan Coleman, P, 4.80 ERA, 99.1 IP, 50 BB, 106 SO
Austin Knight, P, 3.97 ERA, 59.0 IP, 26 BB, 41 SO
Missouri State will play some quality out of conference opponents as always in 2018. Oregon State will visit Hammons Field in mid-April for a three-game series. Oklahoma State, Pepperdine, Missouri, Kansas, and Arkansas highlight the rest of the non-conference slate. The goal here for the Bears would be to find a way to end up at around the .500 mark or slightly above against that group of teams. Now, as far as the race for the Missouri Valley Conference title is concerned the regular season title race should be decided on the last weekend at Dallas Baptist. Offensively, Hunter Steinmetz is back this season and he will protect Eierman as Steinmetz hit .300 with seven homeruns last season. Thus, the combination of Eierman and Steinmetz should be able to combine for 30 plus homeruns and drive in well over 100 runs again in 2018. Dylan Coleman and Austin Knight should help back up Fromson in weekend series’ on the mound as both guys can eat up innings, which will take pressure off the bullpen. Overall, look for Missouri State to stay consistently in the top 25 all yearlong and get back to the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Baseball Tournament
Madness 2018 Draft Rankings:
#17 Jeremy Eierman